DECATUR, Ga—Just days after graduating from high school, Kalen Jones says she is happy to jump back into classes by starting college early at Georgia State University’s Decatur Campus.
The Southwest DeKalb High graduate was among the 80 newly minted high school graduates starting college this summer as
part of the new Perimeter Academy, an academic initiative to help new students get ahead of the curve for fall, said Eric Cuevas, Georgia State’s director of student success. Most of the students are the first in their families to go to college.
Jones joined her peers and their parents at an orientation session June 2 on the Decatur Campus, where they learned about college resources, registered for classes and toured the campus.
“The Perimeter Academy is modeled after the Atlanta Campus’s Student Success Academy, with slight modifications for the two-year student,” said Cuevas. “For the next seven weeks, the students will be in regular college courses, supported by study lab sessions and tutoring. These students will stay together for the entire year as part of a group learning community.”
Among the Perimeter Academy students are 40 State Farm Learning Income Family Transformation scholars who were awarded full scholarships to attend the Decatur Campus. In addition to focusing on their academic courses, State Farm scholars will work within their respective communities during the year, visiting high schools to promote academic success in preparation for college, Cuevas said.
For Jones, who is a State Farm scholar, starting college early when other high school grads were looking forward to a lazy summer wasn’t an issue.
“I had a 2.7 grade point average (GPA) and wasn’t expecting to get into Georgia State and didn’t know what I was going to do,” she said. “That changed with the scholarship.”
State Farm scholars must have at least a 2.5 GPA to be considered.
Now Jones is looking forward to studying business and the performing arts.
“Everything is so organized and professional,” Jones said. “I’m really looking forward to my classes. Everyone seems to really want to help us succeed.”